NBC’s “The Voice” & Craig Wayne Boyd Tribute Wayne Mills
UPDATE: Craig Wayne Boyd Puts Johnny Cash Back in the Charts with “I Walk The Line”
One year ago Sunday, 11-23, Outlaw country artist and songwriter Wayne Mills was killed—shot in the back of the head at the Pit & Barrel Bar in Nashville, TN. Now almost a year to the day of Wayne Mills’ death, one of the many artists that Wayne Mills mentored on their way up the ranks paid a touching tribute to the fallen star on Monday night’s (11-24) episode of NBC’s reality singing competition The Voice, arguably the most recognition the fiercely-independent Mills received his entire career.
Country rocker Craig Wayne Boyd from Mesquite, TX had previously shared the stage with Wayne Mills, as well as with mutual friend Jamey Johnson many times, but has been given the opportunity of his life by finding himself in the Top 10 of this year’s The Voice competition. Originally chosen by Blake Shelton and then stolen by judge Gwen Stefani, Craig Wayne Boyd was later stolen back by Blake Shelton. This was only appropriate, because Blake Shelton too was mentored by Wayne Mills early on in his career. While a struggling performer just trying to gain attention, Wayne Mills let Blake Shelton open for him and showed him the ropes of how to make it in country music. Though Wayne Mills is not considered a household name, many of the young artists he helped shepherd, like Blake Shelton, Craig Wayne Boyd, and Taylor Hicks, have gone on to great things. Wayne Mills was the prototype.
On Monday night’s episode, before Craig Wayne Boyd’s performance of Johnny Cash’s “I Walk The Line,” Craig Wayne took a replica of the now famous “WM” necklace that Wayne Mills wore at all times (see above picture) from Wayne’s widow Carol, and presented it to Wayne’s former pupil, Blake Shelton. The circle was now completed, and then Craig Wayne Boyd sang “I Walk The Line” in a ballad style in tribute to Wayne Mills as eyes watered on the live set and in homes across the country.
“I’m not a country girl but I could see right away with you that you were a star,” his former coach Gwen Stefani said. Pharrell said, “I remember when you first came across the stage. I thought to myself that man is super sure of himself. There is nothing like coming across an artist who knows who they are.” Blake Shelton simply called the performance “magic.”
Craig Wayne Boyd has been doing very well on the competition, hitting #1 on the iTunes Country Chart last week. On Tuesday, the results of Monday’s voting will be revealed to see if the country singer will continue in the competition. Meanwhile the elevation the legacy of Wayne Mills received through The Voice presentation is something that cannot be overvalued. Even a year after his passing, the Wayne Mills influence lingers in some of the highest echelons of popular music.
READ: The Death of Wayne Mills One Year Later
The video below shows the Wayne Mills moment. The video below that is a better quality performance of Craig Wayne Boyd’s performance.
November 25, 2014 @ 3:21 am
not the best quality but this shows the tribute.
November 25, 2014 @ 5:39 am
that was a nice tribute to a friend, not too many really honest moments on that show, so good for them for being able to do that.
Overall, the show is a bit phoney, but that does not mean there are no good singers and performers on it. There are.
Craig Wayne Boyd can really sing, he’s got charisma, and good showmanship.
that rendition was outstanding.
November 25, 2014 @ 6:32 am
Cool stuff man. He sang his guts out on that song. I actually enjoyed that cover. Thanks for sharing the video and to Ashley for sharing the other video.
I will continue to like Blake. I may not listen to every album he has recorded (newer stuff) or be the biggest fan of some of his newer radio hits but… he is a special guy. And yeah The Voice seems cheesy and easy way in for folks to get into the mainstream music business. I get that. But he seems to have a big heart for a lot of folks. And he still is a good ole Oklahoma boy even if he sings cheesy cliche country lyrics. LOL.
And he sings all the good 80’s country hits like no other. What a voice.
November 25, 2014 @ 12:09 pm
That was incredible. I really hope he goes on to great things. He’s got what it takes to make it in country music.
Toby in AK
November 25, 2014 @ 1:46 pm
I don’t understand the song choice for a tribute, it’s almost a straight copy of Travis Tritt’s rendition. I don’t mean this as a personal contention, I just think another song choice would have been more appropriate. Despite all that, it was well sung and unexpected, and a nice gesture.
November 25, 2014 @ 3:35 pm
Appreciate that Blake Shelton chose it for him, and that this is a one off deal on a reality show, not a single on an album or something. But I get your point.
November 26, 2014 @ 2:12 pm
I was going to say the same thing. Blake suggesting he made it a ballad and made it “his own”, all he did was take the version Tritt and Waylon did of the song. Did it well, but it’s not that original of a version.
Of course, Blake is a complete tool.
November 26, 2014 @ 9:17 pm
Wayne Mills was a friend and I gotta say that rocked, loved it! You got my vote here on out
November 26, 2014 @ 10:02 pm
He actually started on Team Blake. Gwen stole him, Blake stole him back…
November 27, 2014 @ 5:23 am
a beautiful tribute to a friend and nice connection between the three, Blake, Craig and Wayne and killer performances
But let’s be honest about these shows, they don’t make it sustain anyone’s career. The two really hot country people that have been on, Gwen Sabastian and now Craig Wayne Boyd seemed to be on their last leg in Nashville before getting this “career making shot”.
The reality of all of these singing shows is that it usually won’t last much more past the tour after the show.
All you have to do is see the new ad for “American Idol”. Despite all their million numbered statistics they put up, there have only been 4-5 artists that have kept a solid career going since they were done with the show, whether they won or lost.
Also, they’ve already signed most of their royalties and control away before auditioning to companies that care about them as long as the attention is gotten and money roles in.
Hopefully one day, all these game shows will fold and acts will have to get back in the van. Not as weekend warriors, but as ones finding anywhere to show their talent and (hopefully) art. Building an audience on their music and mistakes, not what some judge or non-musical executive has told them what to do.
Then, they will own it all and it’s all theirs. Corey Smith seems to do alright by that model.
And, we, as an audience, might benefit too by getting better music, artists and performers out of all this….and more of them.
November 27, 2014 @ 5:45 am
That’s why I Love Craig Wayne Boyd~~WOW, What an Awesome article and tribute to Wayne Mills. It not only gave me chills but brought tears to my eyes~~Craig Wayne Boyd has a heart & soul as big as his home state of Texas!! In my opinion he’s also the BEST Singer & Performer on The Voice, he’s a natural talent!!! I have a feeling he has a pretty good chance of Winning The Voice this year, that Country Boy can SING!!
November 27, 2014 @ 11:51 am
The real question is why aren’t you hearing Craig Wayne Boyd’s songs in the radio? Why isn’t he on CMT or up for CMA awards. His talent and performances are as good as anyone on the charts today, if not better. I hope that after this show he will get the recognition he deserves. He’s paid his dues, it’s definitely his time to shine. Blake Shelton said, “in order to be a country singer you have to be 200% invested in the lyric”, Craig does give that, he has heart! He’s a star!
December 11, 2014 @ 6:07 am
CRAIG BOYD MADE IT TO THE FINALE! I’M KEEPING THE FAITH THAT THIS GUY WILL TAKE THE TITLE! VOTE AND BUY HIS SONG MONDAY ON THE VOICE and help him WIN IT ALL!